Skip to main content

tv   CNN Newsroom  CNN  March 15, 2011 1:00pm-3:00pm EDT

1:00 pm
here say they feel cut off from understanding what the next step is going to be. >> excellent report. our cnn newsroom continues now with ali velshi. >> it's been four and a half days from the biggest earthquake and tsunami in japan. aftershocks are a given, but the latest jolt with the preliminary magnitude of 6.4 was apparently not an aftershock at all but a new earthquake in its own right. the quake on friday and most of the tremors since have been northeast of the capital. that's where the loss, the devastation, they're simply too much to bear.
1:01 pm
the official death toll stands at 3,373 with more than twice that number officially listed as missing. the real numbers are unknown, certainly much higher. here's a more solid number for you. 91, that's the latest count of countries big and small offering some kind of help, according to japan's foreign ministry. through it all the most immediate crisis is the fukushima daichi nuclear plant. all three reactors that were online at the time of the quake have endured explosions in the building that housed them. earlier today a fire broke out in a building that houses a fourth reactor and the radiation went into the atmosphere. the fire is out now. the government says radiation levels at the plant are no longer harmful to human health. that was not the case earlier which is why japan imposed a no-fly zone around the plant and the prime minister made this request on live tv. >> translator: we would like to ask to you remain indoors at home or in your offices.
1:02 pm
we would like to ask to you remain indoors. and avoid going outside. i mentioned help from other countries. the united states is helping in many ways with the nuclear and natural disasters. a team from virginia is helping with search and rescue. earlier today brian todd showed us just what they are up against. >> reporter: we're here in this town of ofunato which was devastated. these guys are courageous, they go into the structures all the time knowing they could come down at any minute. you can see endless whole blocks of nothing but rubble, this is what they guys have to come and try to sift through to find people alive. i will show you one stark contrast. you can see up that hill, that's what high ground does in a tsunami. it can save those structures, save the people in them. but down here, they just almost didn't have a chance. just on the other side of these buildings is an inlet that comes
1:03 pm
in from the ocean. so it kind of funneled the tsunami waters in here and rescue workers tell us that it made the waters even stronger. just incredible force that came through that funnel, through that inlet and swept over this entire area. i'm here with chief chris shoft. when you come upon a scene like this, how do you not get overwhelmed? >> if you look at it in a big picture, it is easy to get overwhelmed. we break it down to small coordinates and small grids, it makes it easier for the guys and girls to focus on their jobs while they're here, so they can focus on grid to grid instead of city to city. >> you have other teams here helping you and you are cordoning off parts of the city. >> we have. it's between us, l.a. and the uk are here. we have divided it into seven quadrants we are in the lower three here and we have broken it
1:04 pm
down from there. >> reporter: one thing the chief told us is that what they continue on a lot in these situations, not only for the canine teams that are just over there, they're swarming around here also. the dog teams are impressive. they can find people alive in the rubble but also count on friends, relatives kind of waving at them, pointing to people, you know who may be inside these structures, my be under the rubble piles, but chief shoft told me something daunting, he said in a situation like this, there may have been whole families gone missing so no one may be looking for them. brian todd is embedded with the rescue team. i want to talk about the plant, the nuclear plant this is a big issue. chad has been following this for us. all around the world people are curious as to how these nuclear reactors work. >> there are reactors literally everywhere. one pound of fuel in a nuclear submarine or an aircraft carrier, it is equal to about 1 million gallons of gasoline. >> this is why it's so popular.
1:05 pm
>> that's how amazing this little cube of one pound of uranium is. >> but that tells you how much energy is stored in there. >> it is what boils the steam into pressure, that pressures the turbines that makes the power. you could put a giant bowl of coal down here and run it forever, but this control rod, fuel rod, steam line makes an awful lot of power in a small space. so let's go the pressure vessel, the control rods, the fuel rods. zoom right in. the fuel rods made of uranium 235 go into the water here. the water steams and makes a lot of pressure. when you want to cool down your pressure, cool it down, you put the control robs that absorb some of the neutrons that go around, it slows down the process. that's why you're always at the switch. somebody is always there watching the pressure. the pressure goes through the steam -- >> as steam. >> goes through the turbines. what happens, stop it right here. this is important.
1:06 pm
water comes from somewhere else. the ocean in japan. comes through as a condenser, like the air conditioner in your car. changes the steam back to water and goes through and does the same thing again. we lost this water because the pump died, not because of the earthquake, because of the tsunami flooded back-up generators. the pumps were running on their own power. this whole thing shut down because of the earthquake. earthquake didn't hurt it. what hurt it is the pump shut down because the tsunami swamped the 13 generators, they were the backup to keep this running. when this stopped, they had to put some water in it, something, because all the water steamed out. they haddumping sea water into it. >> it wrecked it. >> it wrecked it. >> the new power generators will never do this.
1:07 pm
you can walk away, they would shut down by themselves. this would not happen now. >> thanks for that. stan grant has been following the fukushima nightmare from what we thought was a safe distance all the way in tokyo. stan, it's good to see you. where are you now? are you a safe distance from this? >> reporter: yeah. in tokyo, yeah, we are a safe distance, ali. there has been a spike measurement in the radiation level here in tokyo over the past 12 hours or so it was 22 times higher than normal, that sounds alarming but it shouldn't be because they are still very, very low levels, certainly not enough to create any physical harm. where the high levels were were in the plant itself. there's been a lot of talk about this fire in reactor number four. now, in listening to officials in the past few hours, from the tokyo electric company, they are not resulting out the possibility of a hydrogen explosion that could have sparked that fire and they are concerned about the spent fuel rods. you were just discussing that
1:08 pm
the spent fuel rods in the core there and whether they are caught up in the fire and whether that led to that dramatic jump in the level of radiation to the point that would have been potentially dangerous to people. what they are going to do tomorrow, they are planning on doing is fly a helicopter over that reactor number four, dump water into that pool to try to negate that problem there. also questions about the integrity of the structure -- the structural integrity of this plant. ultimately it's going to come down. i think you were just discussing with chad t will come down to whether these containment vessels hold. whether the structures hold. whether the safeguards hold. if that's the case and they can contain that radioactivity that radiation and not have it disperse into the atmosphere. but the international atomic energy agency and the officials here are still concerned about what happened in reactor number two with that explosion there. still concerned that it could have damaged the containment vessel. they will not know until they
1:09 pm
can get in there and have a closer look. >> stan, given all the issues going on in tokyo itself, with the aftershocks, shortages of food we're hearing about, rolling power outages, and now this nuclear issue. what is the feeling on the street? is there any sense of business as usual or are people panicked? are they staying inside? what's happening there? >> it's slower than usual. the time that i've been here, i think would have seen it more bustling. you still see people going about their business. people going to work. the mood, from what i've seen, seems to be a little more somber. you certainly -- you're not seeing a lot of boisterous activity or anything like that. but people are going about their business. going into the shops, the corner shops, the convenience stores. yes, the shelves are not as full as they would normally have been. the starbucks is still open, people can go there and get their coffee or grab something to eat.
1:10 pm
those sorts of things are normal. but you touched on an interesting point here, ali. this country has been through a lot. you know, you follow financial news, in the past ten years it's been a tough time. now you get this, it will cost an enormous amount to recover and relieve the damage here. we have that human be loss of life and what that does to the psyche of the country. we have the enormous cost because of the nuclear damage and the knockdown effects because of the rolling power outages for the next month effecting 45 million people. all of that piles one thing on top of another with a country grieving. you can see the damage it does to morale, self-esteem. >> and we think of japan as a country who have it altogether, but there's no amount of being together that prepares you for this devastation that we've seen. stay safe. i'll talk to you soon. stan grant from tokyo. the search and rescue teams spreading across the miles of
1:11 pm
devastation, some of them are sending in robots to reach the most desperate survivors. i'll show you a couple of them after the break. with soy isoflavonesompln to help address hot flashes and mild mood changes. one a day menopause formula. even though i'm a great driver, and he's... not so much. well, for a driver like you,
1:12 pm
i would recommend our new snapshot discount. this little baby keeps track of your great driving habits, so you can save money. [sighs] amazing. it's like an extra bonus savings. [ cackling ] he's my ride home. how much can the snapshot discount save you? call or click today. [ female announcer ] pads have been made with the same fluff for years. today there's always infinity, the most amazing pad ever, made of an innovative material called infinicel, not used before in other pads, with a unique foam-like core that molds to fit your body so you hardly know it's there. plus it keeps its shape better... and absorbs up to 60% more. ♪ always infinity. created by women for you.
1:13 pm
basic. preferred. at meineke i have options on oil changes. and now i get free roadside assistance with preferred or supreme. my money. my choice. my meineke. rescuers found this woman in the middle of the debris. they carried her into the school infirmary.
1:14 pm
>> translator: i stayed outside the whole night. the water gushed in when i opened my door. i was washed away, but i held on to a floating tree that came my way. i struggled hard to cling to it, to stop myself from going under. but i did go under. during my struggle, a totami mat came floating towards me. i jumped on and stayed there. i was washed away. circling around some houses. my daughter was also swept away. i still don't know where she is. thousands upon thousands of people are missing right now in japan. help from around the world is pouring in to help find those missing people and to recover the bodies of the dead. we've seen crews of people on land and in the water, packs of search and rescue dogs, all the stuff you normally see.
1:15 pm
now word of search and rescue robots being deployed in japan. here to walk us through the specifics is robotics expert hendrick christianson from georgia tech here in atlanta. thank you for being with us. >> sure. >> let's talk about the robots. we know of certain didn't kinds of robots already on the ground in japan. i want to ask you about one called the active scope camera, a camera that snakes around and can get places where people can't get. >> it's about an inch thick, about 27 feet long. >> wow. >> can crawl. like a snake t can crawl through debris. even if you have dense degree, it with crawl through those structures. >> it's looking for whatever you want to see. >> it's looking for people, debris, maintaining is it safe to go there? can we send in other first respo responders. but primarily it gives you a sense are people in there. >> has this been used before?
1:16 pm
>> was used in florida when we had a collapsed garage. used on 9/11. used in a number of cases. the army corps of engineers also went to haiti with that kind of technology. >> that's one of the things you can use if there's a collapse. the other thing you can use if there's terrain that you can't easily get over. something called a quince robot. >> it's like a small tract vehicle with a pair of flippers that will allow you to go up and down staircases. it's relatively large. if you want to go to the second or third floor. and it's remotely operated. so somebody sitting a safe distance, basically using a joystick or a game pad driving it around. >> this might be used in a place where you're not sure of the stability of what you're climbing on. if you put human theres there a something collapses, you have
1:17 pm
this. with the nuclear power plant, there is the danger of unsafe radiation levels. with robots there, you can get in and inspect things. >> typically humans can only stay there for 20 minutes. we can deploy this. >> and you have the camera. >> it will give you imagery and give you the status of this before you do this. another area where we see this deployed is using underwater vehicles to go in and inspect pillars on bridges, so you can go in like a diver, inspect it, make sure you have structural stability and also aerial vehicles being flown in to get a sense is it stable on the fifth floor? do we want to send in first responders before? you get a good sense of stability. the other thing you can do is have a camera, fly over the area, get a sense for is there body heat down there so you can
1:18 pm
pinpoint where you should go. >> these robots don't go out on their own, they go with trained teams. one team was just getting ready in texas when the earthquake happened, so they were deployed straight to japan. >> the team that is doing this is actually from sendai. he was actually in texas training with the team at texas university, on friday they were getting ready to fly home. then they heard about it. the good news is because of this, their robots were safe. they were ready to get packed and fly out directly. >> we will talk to you more about this next hour. remarkable they can get these robots in. a lot of people say why can't you just use people? you can use these robots in more dangerous situations and that nuclear plant is a more dangerous place for first responders. absolutely. >> dr. hendrick christianson, thank. beyond the human tragedy in japan, the quake, tsunami and
1:19 pm
nuclear crisis, there's spreading fear throughout the financial world. destined to shape our future. the jaguar xj. automobile magazine's 2011 design of the year. and having a partner like northern trust -- one of the nation's largest wealth managers -- makes all the difference. our goals-based investment strategies are tailored to your needs and overseen by experts who seek to maximize opportunities while minimizing risk. after all, you don't climb a mountain just to sit at the top. you lookround for other mountains to climb. ♪ expertise matters. find it at northern trust. until the combination of three good probiotics in phillips' colon health defended against the bad gas, diarrhea and constipation. ...and? it helped balance her colon. oh, now that's the best part. i love your work.
1:20 pm
[ female announcer ] phillips' colon health. than the bmw 7-series or mercedes s-class... making the decision to own a jaguar just as rational as it is emotional.
1:21 pm
japan is one of the world's biggest economies. when things happen in japan it effects all of us. look at what's happening on the dow, down about 200 points. the s&p down a similar percentage loss, about 1.7%. and the nasdaq, we're erasing a lot of the gains we've had on a
1:22 pm
strong market so far this year since the beginning of this earthquake. it's not just the u.s., this is worldwide, because, as i said, japan is a very, very important economy. look at the japanese stock market. the nikkei, second day in a row of heavy losses. down 10.6% overnight. what typically happens, it starts in the east and moves west. hong kong, down only about 3%, though on a normal day, that's a big drop in the stock market. frankfurt, the dax, down 3.4%. the cac 40 in paris, down 2.3%. london's ftse 100, 1.3. you can see as we kent west, things started to calm down on markets. the bottom line in the united states is that japan is -- it's a big trading partner, but not as crucial as a lot of other countries like china, for instance. one of the things you'll see in the united states there will be some effect on supplies of electronics, technology equipment, computers and automobiles. the biggest export that japan
1:23 pm
has to the u.s. is automobiles. and a lot of them are auto parts. that's where you will see some of the biggest effect. as for japan itself, typically after a big disaster, you see some economic slowdown, then a build up because of the fact there's reconstruction. so, at the moment, no major effect on world economies, long-term or for that matter on japan's economy. the most important thing right now still is the safety of the japanese people. the rescue and recovery efforts that are going on right now. we'll keep you posted if there's anything you need to worry about. for now these numbers look serious, nothing serious to worry about. the u.s. military is constantly faced with danger on the ground, but the radiation concerns in japan are presenting new and fairly specific challenges for the obama administration. i'll have that story with ed henry after the break.
1:24 pm
hey what's going on? doing the shipping. man, it would be a lot easier if we didn't have to weigh 'em all. if those boxes are under 70 lbs. you don't have to weigh 'em. with these priority mail flat rate boxes from the postal service, if it fits, it ships anywhere in the country for a low flat rate. no weigh? nope. no way. yeah. no weigh? sure. no way! uh-uh. no way. yes way, no weigh. priority mail flat rate shipping starts at just $4.95, only from the postal service. a simpler way to ship. that's what's incredible about quaker oatmeal squares. a single serving has 46 grams of whole grains. that's 96% of your minimum whole grain needs for the day. are you kidding me?
1:25 pm
they fuel you up to start your day right... and they taste great. ♪ amazing mornings start with quaker oatmeal squares. so come on, get up and get going. ♪
1:26 pm
the president is losing popularity according to a new poll among low-income americans. that's probably the least of his concerns immediately. he's trying to help japan recover and keeping american troops in the disaster area safe. ed henry has the details. ed, what is the president doing right now? what is he thinking about troops? there is a big american presence in japan. >> reporter: there is. you know, he's been getting briefed on the situation, obviously. u.s. officials are telling us that this is becoming one of the
1:27 pm
most complicated humanitarian missions in history, frankly. they are already dealing with the devastation, which is complicated enough. but now the nuclear reactor situation. navy officials are saying some of their helicopter crews have been exposed to low-level radiation. they think everybody is okay, at least so far. but they've given some of these air crews potassium iodine to make sure they're safe and not harmed. some of the u.s. navy ships in the area are being moved to different locations because of the atmospheric conditions. and then look at the financial side, which you know better than anyone. treasury secretary tim geithner was on the hill earlier today and was asked by some senators with the fact of the asian markets plummeting now, and so many asian companies suffering what kind of impact will that have on u.s. securities? specifically american pensions that may be tied in to some of the asian securities? he assured the senate that he
1:28 pm
believes the situation is under control. there shouldn't be a great fear among americans about their pensions. but it gives you a sense from the military to the financial aspects that this is still having ramifications that we do not fully know yet. >> ed, i will stick to the topic and avoid the fact that there's another beeping truck moving around behind you and in front of you. probably the most talked about issue around, not only about what's going on in japan with its nuclear safety, but there are nuclear plants all over the world. the energy secretary sort of tackled whether america's nuclear plants are safe from what happened in japan. >> that's right. the u.s. department of energy has this nuclear incident team that can react to any situation, not just here in the u.s. but they study what happens around the world. and they're doing that in fact what was interesting is that today the energy secretary, steven chu, who is not your
1:29 pm
ordinary energy secretary. he's a nobel prize-winning scientist. he revealed to congress that he was up until 2:30 in the morning this morning looking at some of these models that the nuclear incident team is putting together about the atmospheric conditions in japan and how it's playing out. this comes as the nuclear regulatory commission here in the u.s. just revealed a couple hours ago they sent nine more technical experts to japan to try to help with the situation. so, when you have got the energy secretary in the obama cabinet up until 2:30 in the morning studying some of the models being drawn up, the nuclear wre regulatory commission sending more experts, it gives you a sense that there's a creeping bit of concern within the u.s. government about exactly what is happening on the ground. >> ed, good to see you. you'll stay on top of that for us. ed henry at the white house. japan's nuclear crisis has
1:30 pm
rattled the financial markets. i'll have details straight ahead.
1:31 pm
it's nearly 2:30 a.m. wednesday in japan, where the ground is still rumbling beneath quake survivors feet. strong aftershocks made for a nervous night, and another earthquake hit south of sendai, no tsunami threat, a nearby nuclear plant has been given the all-clear. the nuclear crisis in fukushima has the country and the world on
1:32 pm
edge. today the nikkei dropped 11%. factor in yesterday's losses, it's down 17% in two days. that, of course, has been dragging down world markets. the dow plunged this morning in early trading. right now it's recovered a bit. down 1.6%. it was down about 2.2%, still big losses. secretary of state hillary clinton just met with japan's foreign minister at g-8 talks in paris. he briefed her on the latest in the nuclear crisis and she again pledged washington's full support. from paris, secretary clinton has flown on to cairo to meet with egypt's new foreign minister. she was hoping to meet with members of the pro-democracy movement that toppled hosni mubarak, but they refused to sit down with her. they say she and the united states didn't lend enough support addres they ousted muba.
1:33 pm
today's oldest surviving www 1 survivor is being laid to rest today. the steam from a japanese nuclear plant contains radiation, but not all radiation is the same. we'll give you a detailed look-on-the your side. for 80 years, we've been inspired by you. and we've been honored to walk with you to help you get where you want to be. ♪ because your moment is now. let nothing stand in your way. ♪
1:34 pm
you've been stuck in the garage, while my sneezing and my itchy eyes took refuge from the dust in here and the pollen outside. but with 24-hour zyrtec®, i get prescription strength relief from my worst allergy symptoms. it's the brand allergists recommend most. ♪ lily and i are back on the road again. where we belong. with zyrtec®, i can love the air®.
1:35 pm
. for the first time today, radiation at japan's fukushima nuclear plant reached levels that could impact human health. the levels later declined, but there's still worry about it we've seen the picture of steam being vented from the plants. elizabeth cohen joins me now. we knows there radiation in that steam, but what we're learning and what i heard you say is that all radiation is not the same. >> it isn't all the same. you want to know what's in there and how much of that is in there. so, we don't know exactly what's in the steam, but what we do know is in the plant we're told there's iodine and uranium. so that could be what would be in the steam. >> all right. what are the effects of those elements that you mentioned? >> all three can have long-term cancer effects in different parts of the body. each of those materials gets attracted as it were to different parts of the body.
1:36 pm
so it's -- in large amounts, large exposures, that's a worry about kidney cancer, thyroid cancer. >> now, the level of exposure, i guess it's got to do with how much of it is and how exposed you are to it. what is the current level of danger. >> you know how they talk about location location location in real estate? here we are talking about dosage dosage dosage. and dosage relies upon what is in that plume and how much? where are you standing? what's the wind doing? and how much time are you spending there? spending five minutes a mile away from the plant is different than spending an hour. there's so many different factors that go into it. this is entirely different from a meltdown. >> is. i want to put this into perspective with the help of my colleague, sanjay gupta. he is there and answered that question today. let's take a listen. >> these levels, as they stand now are not particularly problematic. even the highest levels that were reported, 400
1:37 pm
millisieverts, 400 millisieverts was the highest reading given today inside the plant. once that leaves the plant, starts to decay, the levels will be much, much lower. as things stand now, these levels are much higher than what they usually are. as far as impact on human health, physical health, there's not a lot probably to be concerned about. >> you heard him mention 400 millisievert. experts say you start worry being acute radiation sickness at 1,000 or more. it's not that this is good. you don't want this to happen, but you're not seeing people with acute radiation sickness in large numbers. >> the issue is that every time we think it's over, some -- there's some new development. i think the concern is have they stabilized this thing? will we hear about more? >> the concern is obviously the radiation is highest inside that plant. if it gets to be too high for people to be there and they
1:38 pm
evacuate them, how will you cool it down? so that's a big concern right now. >> thank you, elizabeth. good to see you. senior u.s. official in cairo this hour, the first big name to visit since protesters took down the government last month. who is it? more importantly who are they talking to?[ man ] when you wank that travels with you. with you when you're ready for the next move. [ male announcer ] now that wells fargo and wachovia have come together, what's in it for you? unprecedented strength, the stability of the leading community bank in the nation and with 12,000 atms and thousands of branches, we're with you in more ways and places than ever before. with you when you want the most from your bank. [ male announcer ] wells fargo. together we'll go far.
1:39 pm
1:40 pm
1:41 pm
we're going to continue to bring you the latest developments in japan, but there's an important story out of egypt this hour. secretary of state, hillary clinton, is there. she is the most senior u.s. official to visit the country since massive protests led to president hosni mubarak leaving office last month. wolf blitzer is traveling with secretary clinton and joins me now on the phone from cairo. wolf, the president -- or secretary clinton is planning to meet with her counterpart there, the foreign minister. he's only been in office for a couple of weeks. tell us about him. he's a veteran diplomat. >> yes. and the secretary of state clearly has an agenda here to promote the democratic movement. by the way, right now, even as
1:42 pm
we're speaking, i'm driving through cairo, it's dark, not a lot of demonstrators here. life seems to be going back to normal in cairo now after the developments over the past several weeks, and the removal of president hosni mubarak as president. there's a lot of work that remains to be done. egypt is a work in progress. they have elections scheduled for later this year. there's a military regime not only in charge right now but a lot of work has to be done. there's no guarantee this will be a successful outcome. the secretary of state is trying to do whatever she can to promote the good guys, if you will, and the democratic movement. that's not an easy agenda here in egypt. from here, by the way, she will go to tu thenesia.
1:43 pm
libya and gadhafi is also on the agenda. >> in libya, you have -- you were with the secretary in paris where the french government recognized the opposition as being in power. the u.s. government hasn't, and secretary clinton had a meeting with a key libyan opposition leader what came out of that? >> i don't think much came out of it. because i don't think there's any great desire on the part of the obama administration to engage in a no-fly zone. the arab league has come out unanimously in favor of a no-fly zone but also say there shouldn't be air strikes against targets in libya. and the u.s. certainly will not engage in a no-fly zone unless it takes out the air defense system of the libyan military which would mean aerial assault, bombardment. and i think there's a desire on the part of top u.s. officials,
1:44 pm
that if the arab league wants a no-fly zone, there are several countries with robust air force, and they should engage in the no-fly zone and not the u.s. in the meantime, gadhafi seems to have a dramatic military offensive underway and is rolling back the opposition. from the u.s. perspective, the u.s. wants gadhafi out, but it doesn't look like he's taken those steps. don't forget, bahrain what is going on in bahrain now is a real crisis. not only for the country, but for the u.s., which has bahrain as the home of the u.s. navy's fifth fleet in the persian gulf. a lot at stake there. >> more like egypt, a place where u.s. interests are important. let's go back to tunesia what is going on there? >> she will meet with the new
1:45 pm
leadership will and meeting with young students, young people, some of the bloggers who started this process in tunisia. she is going full speed ahead with that initiative. she wants to make sure u.s./tunisian relationships are strong and roh moo-hybust it is solidarity with the pro-democracy movement in tunisia from there, she will be going home. >> wolf, thank you very much for joining us. you will not want to miss "the situation room" today. wolf will anchor the show from cairo. he will have much more on secretary of state hillary clinton's trip to egypt. let me bring you up to speed with the latest on our top stories. it's 2:45 a.m. in japan, wednesday morning. the death toll has surged past 3,700 people. more than 6,700 are missing.
1:46 pm
in the meantime, the latest nuclear danger, a fire and explosion today at the fukushima daichi plant. more than 2,000 people have been evacuated. nasa is investigating how 4 grams of cocaine wound up in its workplace. a count of 33 u.s. states found there are 38.7 million hispanics living here. that's according to the u.s. census. the figure is 590,000 more than pre-census estimates, and that a rebounding economy may be a factor for the unexpected increase. there's music, there's movies, but what has become a huge draw at the annual south by southwest festival is its interactive conference. i just flew back from there today. let me tell you, the event is an incubator for innovators, something we talk about on the
1:47 pm
show in our big eye. frankly it was a treasure trove. pop lots of buzz going on there. while it's a fun festival, because they did something smart by linking this to a great music festival, there's a lot of business being done there. >> i have to tell you, everybody was asking where you were. i said you had a show to anchor, you had to head back. you saw it for yourself. when i think of south by southwest and this interactive week, it has grown. tens of thousands of people descending on austin. the real key here, ali, is those people from the companies you never heard of but you are going to hear from. this is the place, you see some of these men and women doing this work behind me. this is the place where twitter was launched five years ago. five years ago, frankly, most
1:48 pm
people thought it was crazy when they heard about it for the first time. now we all use it this is where foursquare, the location-based social media was launched two years ago it makes me think about what president obama said in his state of the union, we have to -- america has to out-innovate others to succeed. this is the place, ali, where those people are really brewing their companies, getting the funding they need. this is the place where the incubation of ideas is happening, ali. >> we can see that sign behind you, the cnn grill, cnn.com and cnn money, we have a big presence there, we like to see where the non-investigation is coming from. exciting conference, but twhat was going on in japan was hanging over it. inside the grill there, there are massive tv walls, there are monitors. people were watching what's going on in japan. it's played a part in some things going on there. >> it's played a really big
1:49 pm
part. that's great point, ali. this is a lively festival. the energy, the air here is good. but it has really been -- the focus has been talking about japan and the role that social media can play. when i got here a few days ago the goal here at south by southwest, we will put up the banner so you can see how you can donate, was to raise $10,000. what we heard this morning, ali, the head of the interactive festival says they raised $42,000 here at south by southwest alone in the past few days for japan. you want to go to sxsw4japan.org. also you can text in your donation to 90999. the goal is now 50,000, and i think they'll top that by a lot. it's social media and the influence it can have on japan. i interviewed dennis crawly, head of foursquare, and what he said is one of the problems that these tech companies have in
1:50 pm
places like japan in helps out is that one of the first things to go there is connectivity and mobile service. so that's been a problem for them on the ground trying to help in japan. >> poppy, have a good conference. meet some interesting people, and we'll talk more about technology and innovation in the
1:51 pm
1:52 pm
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
i'm not really very good at this so my producer takes over, my executive producer, whenever there's sports involved. she has ohio going all the way, highway state.
1:55 pm
i actually have kansas winning in my bracket, but i think ohio state and kansas are two of the elite teams. there's a big drop-off after that, even with duke. >> there's politics with me changing my bracket. i've got to keep saying it ace ohio state. do you expect any of the great teams fall early? is there an underdog in the competition that you like? >> i like a lot of underdogs. one thing about the ncaa tournament is there's always, always upsets. every single year. i don't think there are a lot of great teams, one or two. but one thing you have to look at when you're filling out your bracket is picking upsets. you have to take chances if you win. historically a 12 has always beaten a 5 seed i. like a few of these, richmond to beat vanderbilt in the first round, utah state beat kansas state in
1:56 pm
the first round. i like began zaug ga to upset another san diego state all the way to the elite 8, where they could face arizona. i do have st. johns. kelly, do i have utah or kansas? i've got kansas state over utah. you and i are having very different brackets. you or i can buy the other a drink. tell me, as you know i don't know a lot about this, the decision to have 68 teams instead of 64, how does it change the tournament? >> it's actually -- it was 65 before. we had a play-in game or a first round game, a preliminary game. what this means is on tuesday and wednesday night now we'll have a double-header. really we'll kick off the tournament with a great atmosphere in dayton, ohio, and you'll see team that's were on the bubble, clemson and uab and usc actually have to play a
1:57 pm
first round game early. so these teams are playing for their tournament lives. i think you'll see exciting games, very close games, and it's a great way to start the tournament. and for a very quick turnaround for these teams to then play again thursday and friday for the winners. >> b.j., good to talk to you. i may have to have a conversation with kelly and look at my brackets again. our news continues, including our coverage of the developments in japan. we'll be right back after this break. ♪ when it's planes in the sky ♪ ♪ for a chain of supply, that's logistics ♪ ♪ when the parts for the line ♪ ♪ come precisely on time ♪ that's logistics ♪ ♪ a continuous link, that is always in sync ♪ ♪ that's logistics ♪
1:58 pm
♪ there will be no more stress ♪ ♪ cause you've called ups, that's logistics ♪ of some of the annoying symptoms menopause brings. go it's one a day menopause formula. the only complete multivitamin with soy isoflavones to help address hot flashes and mild mood changes. one a day menopause formula. sweet & salty nut bars... they're made from whole roasted nuts and dipped in creamy peanut butter, making your craving for a sweet & salty bar irresistible, by nature valley.
1:59 pm
2:00 pm
we're 0 more than four days out from the earthquake and tsunami in japan. still many don't know where their loved ones are. imagine the total nightmare of just not knowing. >> translator: my child was at a kindergarten over that river. so we did not have time to go retrieve him. i hope his teacher was able to evacuate the children. >> translator: it's hard to believe almost everything has been washed away.
2:01 pm
but the fact that we cannot be sure whether the kids are safe, that's what -- >> been four and a half days since the biggest earthquake in recorded japanese history and merciless tsunami. aftershocks are a given, but the latest big jolt with a preliminary magnitude 6.4 was centered west-southwest of tokyo and apparently not an aftershack at all but an earthquake in its own right. the earthquake freeway and the tremors since have been northeast of the capital, loss and devastation just too much to bear.
2:02 pm
the official death toll stands at 3,373, with more than twice that number officially listed as missing. the real numbers are unknown, but certainly much higher than that. here's a solid number for you, 91, the number of countries big and small that have offered some kind of help according to japan's foreign ministry. through it all, the most pressing crisis is the fukushima nuclear plant. today a fire broke out in a building that houses a furnourt reactor. radiation went up into the atmosphere. the fire is out now, the government says radiation levels at the plant are no longer harmful to human health. that was not the case earlier which is where japan made a no-fly zone and the prime minister made this request on live tv. >> translator: we would like to ask you to remain indoors, at home or in your offices, we
2:03 pm
would like to ask you to remain indoors. and avoid going outside. >> cnn's stan grant has been following the fukushima nightmare from what we thought was a safe distance in tokyo. he sent us this report just minutes ago. >> reporter: each day, almost each hour, this nuclear emergency in japan seems to throw up new challenges. this time the focus is on two of the reactors, reactor number two and reactor number four. in reactor number two, there was an explosion, and that's raised concerns about damage to the containment vessel which surrounds the core of the reactor, and that's important because if there was ultimately a full meltdown, it is that containment process, that containment vessel, that would hold in the nasty elements, those radioactive materials that otherwise could go into the atmosphere. now, in reactor number four, there was a fire. the tokyo electric company has said they can't rule out the
2:04 pm
prospect of a hydrogen explosion. what's also worrying is that that contained a pool and in that pool was spent fuel rods. what they're concerned about is that the water may have evaporated and those spent fuel rods may have caught on fire. now, that also led to a spike in radiation around about the same time within the plant. it went to level that we haven't seen before throughout the crisis, levels that the authorities said posed a risk to humans. that was contained within the plant. in the hours since then, the levels have come down when measured just outside the perimeter of the plant. the prime minister naoto kan is warning we could see the radiation levels rise again in the coming days, now there is an exclusion zone of 20 kill meters, 200,000 people have been moved away from there. the prime minister saying people within a 30-kilometer radius
2:05 pm
need to stay inside, close the doors and windows and stay out of any potential harmful contact with the hazardous materials. all the while the fight continues to bring the situation under control, to cool the reactors. now the authorities are saying they will use helicopters to fly over reactor number four and try to dump water into that pool and solve the problem of the spent fuel rods. this is a situation that really is minute by minute. it is hour by hour. and watching on the people of japan who have been through so much since that earthquake really hit here and tore through the country, creating so much damage, loss of life and also this nuclear emergency. stan grant, cnn, tokyo. >> stan continues to report for us. chad is here to give us some explanation. we'll have to hear this and see this many times to understand. a lot of us in this country benefit from nuclear energy in the united states, about one-fifth of all of our electricity in the uts u.s. is generated by nuclear power.
2:06 pm
104 plants in the u.s., about half of which are more than 30 years old. give us the lowdown on a nuclear plant. how does the energy or at least the ones we're talking about, how does that generate energy? >> a 40-year-old plant. here are the generators, right there. there are a number of ways to move a generator. you can boil and burn coal. that would boil steam. you could run it through a dam. >> right. >> big water dam, big lake. all of a sudden the water gets -- >> from the generators on it's just electricity. it's how you get it to the generators. >> how do we move the turbines that make the power. that's it. that's the whole thing in a nutshell. what we're dog with this, we're heating water, tremendously. i'm not talking 200 degrees. like 250 degrees c, so really, really hot. big pressure. this is a pressure cooker that you could cook a clam in in about two seconds. so the fuel rods are in the core. the fuel rods touch water.
2:07 pm
pure, pure water. that pure water boils off. it steams, causes huge amounts of pressure and the pressure goes out through that pipe. >> so these rods come in, they hit the water, they steam. >> yep. you have to be careful how much steam you make. they become up and down here with these control rods controlling how many neutrons are flying around in there, the control rods slow down the reaction. you take the control rods out, you get a lot of reaction and you have to -- >> it comes through here. now you have the turbines moving. >> do you need more or less power? is it day, night, more power or less power? you can do that by those rods. you spin it through here and you spin it through eventually it's still steaming here, goes into a condenser that is cooled by outside forces. >> opposite, it makes the steam back into water. >> it condenses it just like you put a glass of ice water on the bar. eventually you'll get a puddle of water. that's the puddle of water you
2:08 pm
have to make to go back into the reactor to make the steam go. they lost that water supply because the pumps that were pushing it in stopped because the reactor stopped. and then the backup generator stopped because the tsunami swum spaum ped them. that stopped the water from coming in, stopped the cooling. the water boiled out. all of a sudden the rods are sitting there. it's like draining ault the water out of your radiator in the car. take the car on the road. eventually your engine is going to melt down. that's what happened here. >> we didn't get a meltdown. we got escape of steam. >> we got something close. to get hydrogen and oxygen to separate, to see the explosion, you almost have to be 2,200 degrees in there. that's close to a meltdown. but thouey got water back in to stop the meltdown. >> by the way, they used sea water because that's what they
2:09 pm
could get. that plant is done. >> they cooled it down by pumping the water in from a generator that eventually ran out of gas and they boiled the water out again. >> yeah. >> i could have had a v-8, right? there has been just a number of errors here. it just doesn't happen by one thing going wrong. >> but it's got everybody around the world because a lot of energy is created a nuclear power worrying about it. thanks, chad. millions in japan are dealing with the tragedy of this disaster. nearly all of those people are buddhists. after the short break, we'll take a look at how the japanese pray. to help address hot flashes and mild mood changes. one a day menopause formula. [ male announcer ] america's beverage companies are working together to put more information right up front.
2:10 pm
adding new calorie labels to every single can, bottle and pack they produce. so you can make the choice that's right for you. ♪ [ female announcer ] little acts like using less material can make a meaningful impact. ♪ because everybody wins when you use less. switch to future friendly products from p&g, like new concentrated tide powder detergent. with 24% less packaging and more stain-fighting power. future friendly from p&g. so he chose a university where the faculty average over 14 years of experience in their fields to help him turn a thesis into a business plan
2:11 pm
and accelerate the path between ideas... and actions. my name is myron sullivan, i'm developing a robotic system to clean oil spills, and i am a phoenix. [ male announcer ] learn more about the school of business at phoenix.edu.
2:12 pm
thank you. >> thank you. >> these are ireports from japan. the ireporter says the concept of the video was to tell people around the world we are alive, smiling and grateful. no matter whether you pray or chant or meditate, you've likely taken a moment to remember the victims in japan. the japanese people have a long spiritual history. they will rely on centuries-old buddhist beliefs. japan is 90% buddhist or shinto or a combination. a scholar of japanese budism
2:13 pm
told us right now most are at a stage of posting photos of missing loved ones. for families who found their doed, wakes, funerals or creamations could be under way. waves of memorials will remain in the disaster zone. in buddhist tradition, the seventh day ritual begins 33 years of formal mourning ceremonies ahead. budism addresses and tries to alleviate suffering, physical and mental, much like other world religions it stresses compassion while acknowledging that death is a part of life. monks in japan will assure people that they survived for a reason. to read up on budism and how people in japan are dealing with the disaster, head to religion.blogs.cnn.com and i will link that to my blog. for a glimpse of what the japanese are going through right now. let's go to the awata prefecture in japan.
2:14 pm
>> reporter: this city was devastated. this man is the president. when the massive quake occurred, he told his employees to decide if they wanted to evacuate to shelters or go back to their families. tsunami hit the man's company, seen at the front. he says he he regrets more about the company's history being cut off than losing his assets. of his 50 employees, kono could reach only 22 up to yesterday. he is visiting public shelters and other places every day searching for the remaining
2:15 pm
employees. and he found one. today kono could locate three more employees. kono says he hopes to restart his business somehow. >> well, the search and rescue teams spreading across the miles of devastation sending in robots to reach the most desperate survivors. you'll be amazed to see what the robots can do. i'll show you some of them on the other side. ♪
2:16 pm
♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] with amazing innovation, driven by relentless competition, wireless puts the world at your command. ♪ of some of the annoying symptoms menopause brings. go it's one a day menopause formula. the only complete multivitamin with soy isoflavones to help address hot flashes and mild mood changes. one a day menopause formula.
2:17 pm
2:18 pm
>> translator: and also the electricity is running now and people are charging up their batteries for the cell phones. >> this man says that his son -- he's with his son but says some of his family members have died and all the infrastructure has failed. and there are no gasoline and has no method to move around.
2:19 pm
this man says that his family are all alive so they are willing to look forward -- to go forward. he's calling on his daughter that he will work hard. >> okay. i want to just go to the white house. the daily briefing has begun. let's listen in to see what they're talking about. >> the national security staff and the white house is also coordinating a large interagency response with experts meeting around the clock to monitor the latest information coming out of japan. we have offered our japanese friends disaster response experts, search and rescue teams, technical advisers with nuclear expertise, and logistical support from the united states military. secretary chu announced that the department of energy has offered
2:20 pm
and japan has accepted an aerial measuring capability including detectors and equipment used to provide assessment of contamination on the ground. in total, the d.o.e. team includes 34 people. to support our citizens in japan, the embassy is working around the clock. we have services available 24 hours a day. a short while ago, the nuclear regulatory commission and the state department each issued an update on the ongoing situation at the nuclear plant in question in japan. the guidance once again was that after careful analysis of data radiation levels and damage assessments to all units at the plant are independent experts at the nrc are in agreement with the response and measures taken by japanese technicians including the recommended 20-kilometer radius for evacuation and additional shelter in place recommendations out to 30 kilometers. both the nrc and the state
2:21 pm
department are continuing to ask american citizens in japan to listen to the local japanese officials for the very latest information regarding the situation there. with that, i will take your questions. julie? >> i know you just said that you're urging americans in japan to listen to the local officials there. we are starting to see, though, other governments, china, france, austria taking steps to either urge their citizens or recommend their citizens leave tokyo. do the u.s. feel like its silt zens in tokyo are safe at this point? >> the assessment i just mentioned made by the nrc is that the actions and recommendations taken by the japanese government are the same we would take in the situation and therefore they support and are recommending to american citizen that's they listen to and follow the instructions of the japanese government or local japanese officials. >> so taking into account all of the possible options that could happen at this point, there's no
2:22 pm
recommendation that u.s. citizens leave tokyo at this point? >> there is not that i know of. state department issues those kinds of advisories, but again i would refer to what the nrc has just put out. >> given that the situation at this plant took a turn for the worse overnight, do your comments from yesterday that there's no threat to hawaii or the west coast of the u.s. still stand? >> well, as you know, those comments were not mine because i'm not expert, but the chairman of the nuclear agency independent agency, the chairman made clear that he believes based on his analysis and the nrc's analysis that there is no threat posed by -- >> actually, he said highly unlikely. he didn't say no. >> let me -- i have the language precisely, what he said. you aren't going to have any radio logical material that by the time it traveled those long
2:23 pm
distance could pose any risk to the american public. that's a quote from yesterday. so i will defer to him as he is the expert on this. >> but as far as you know, that comment stands even given the developments overnight. >> again, i think the nrc has put out additional information today, but on that issue, yes. trisha. >> on bahrain, yesterday you said this saudi troops are not in invasion, but does the u.s. welcome them there? and do you think it will help stabilize the kingdom? >> we're going to continue to monitor this for you. we'll take a quick break. when we come back, i'm going to talk to you about robots that are going to go where human rescue teams can't go in japan. very, very interesting things right after this break. we're america's natural gas.
2:24 pm
and here's what we did today in homes all across america: we created the electricity that powered the alarm clocks and brewed the coffee. we heated the bathwater and gave kelly a cleaner ride to school. cooked the cube steaks and steamed the veggies. entertained dad, and mom, and a neighbor or two. kept watch on the house when they slept. and tomorrow we could do even more. we're cleaner, domestic, abundant and ready now. we're america's natural gas. the smarter power today. learn more at anga.us. ♪ ♪
2:25 pm
♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ [ female announcer ] introducing purina one beyond, a new food for your cat or dog.
2:26 pm
thousands upon thousands of people are missing in japan. help from around the world is pouring in to help find missing people and recover the bodies of the dead. we've seen crews of people on land and water. we've seen groups of search and rescue dogs. now we've received word of search and rescue robots deployed in japan. here to walk us through the robots is the director of the center for robotics and intelligent machines at georgia tech here in atlanta. last hour, we talked about the active scope camera robot that looks like a snake. we talked about the robot that can climb stairs and get into places humans can't get. we'll talk about that one in a minute but let's talk about the
2:27 pm
tokyo fire department. they've got something called the robo-q. what's that? >> it's a larger robot that could carry out people, also other dangerous objects that are there. the small robots we talked about early on will be able to go in and look at structures but wouldn't be able to take an injured person, for example, and take that. >> we're looking at that. >> right. you can go out and find the person, drag them out. it could be a situation where it's too dangerous to send in a first responder. >> right. for instance, an unstable building perhaps. >> as an example. exactly. unstable building, could be under a bridge. you're worried, is this going to collapse? it could also be in the fluke clear scenario where you have somebody who has fainted and you don't want to send in other people. then you send in the robot. >> i want to talk about the kwins you mansientioned. it's simple looking. that's the one on tractor wheels like a 4 x 4.
2:28 pm
this is being deployed now as well. >> this is being deployed. it's relatively large robot, three, four feet long. it allows you to basically drive over things, up and down sta staircases. >> this is nafascinating. >> if you have something on the second or third floor, this can go up the staircases to get a sense of what's going on. >> it doesn't have a payload. it's not carrying anything. the idea of this thing is a camera or sensors. >> it's a mobile camera. also you could have a spectrometer so you could get a sense for gas leakage, radiation sensors, do see if we have radiation likes here. it's basically a mobile sensor. >> the active scope, you were telling me one of the teams that deals with this is actually from sendai in japan, one of the most hard-hit areas. >> exactly. one of the professors is from sendai. he was in texas when it started to test this. here you're seeing his snake
2:29 pm
robot, the active scope. it's about an inch thick. they were here in texas training for exactly that kind of scenario, and on friday they were getting ready to fly home and then they heard about disaster and they packed up as quickly as they could and got back. they are getting deployed right now, i spoke to him this morning, he's doing well, his family is doing well. he's a bit frustrated that the electricity was going on and off all the time because of some of the other challenges. >> sure. and these things in that sense can be self-contained. >> absolutely. >> that's fascinating. thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you. another quake shakes japan, this one near a huge, active volcano. meanwhile, the nikkei, stock exchange drops even more than yesterday. all the latest on japan, straight ahead. [ male announcer ] opportunity
2:30 pm
is a powerful force. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪
2:31 pm
nearly 3:30 a.m. wednesday in japan where the ground is still rumbling away beneath quake survivors' feet. moderate to strong aftershocks making for a nervous night. plus, we had an entirely separate earthquake strike japan's main island, couple hundred miles south of sendai. according to the usgs, it had a magnitude of 6.2 and it hit the home to mt. fuji, a volcano. no tsunami threat and a nearby nuclear plant given the all-clear. the nuclear crisis in fuch sheem moo has the world on edge. today the nikkei, stock market, fell 10 ps 10.6%. if you factor in yesterday's losses, it's down about 17% in
2:32 pm
two days. that's dragging down markets around the world. the dow, you're looking at where it is right now, it's recovered quite a bit but plunged early this morning. right now the dow is off about 1.2%, recovering after an early plunge. secretary of state hillary clinton met earlier with japan's foreign minister at g-8 talks in paris. he briefed her on the latest developments in the nuclear crisis and she again pledged washington's full support. from paris she flew to cairo to meet egypt's new foreign minister. she was hoping to meet members of the pro-democracy movement that helped topple mubarak. but some are refusing to sit down with her. they say she and the united states didn't lend enough support as they fought to oust mubarak. frank buckles is being laid to rest today. he passed away last month at 110. visitors have been paying their respects in the chapel at arlington national cemetery. his burial will feature the
2:33 pm
tradition of firing three rifle volleys. as the quack for aftlaaflac gottfried is out. he tweeted distasteful comments about japan. the company statement says his comments were lacking in humor and do not represent the thoughts or feelings of anyone at aflac. aflac, by the way, does about 75% of its business in japan. on thursday, he turned 25. on friday, he survived an earthquake and tsunami. a survivor's trip home to see what little is left. up next.
2:34 pm
2:35 pm
rescue teams are working against the clock and weather in japan to try and find survivors of friday's disaster. we learned today that over 6700 people are still missing. the search teams are driving through scenes like this one, witnessing firsthand towns that have been flattened, buildings collapsed on top of themselves. cnn's soledad o'brien took a walking tore through the town you just saw. her guide a 25-year-old american survivor. take a look at her report. >> reporter: a walk through the narrow streets of kesanuma is stunning. boats resting on sidewalks, a pest of testament that to the power of the tsunami which roared into the city of 70,000 just minutes after the earthquake shook the residents
2:36 pm
to their core. but this morning the ferry to and from the tiny island of oshima was running again and dozens of people lined up hoping to get to their loved ones, some who had been stranded for days. on board, paul famiilsz. he turned 25 on thursday, by friday a survivor of japan's worst earthquake ever. >> a lot of buildings were collapsed a lot like this. cars were smashed here and there, broken glasses everywhere. i tried to get closer, but everything was such a mess. there was no way for me to even get close. everything was strewn about. >> reporter: an assistant teacher on nearby oshima island, his classes room was on high ground so he was safe. now he was back in the town where he lives to witness the devastation firsthand, starting with a visit to his apartment, a five-minute walk. how worried are you that your apartment is wiped out? >> from looking at this, i don't
2:37 pm
think it's going to be -- i think it will be fine really. >> reporter: yeah? what makes you think it's going to be fine? >> i don't know. i i'm just guessing really. >> reporter: hopeful? >> just looking at this right now, it's pretty bad. >> reporter: but we're stopped by a street full of mud and debris and water. we can't get through. what do you think? >> we can go around that direction. >> reporter: we could try. at every turn, the road impassable. your parents must be frantically thinking about you. >> yeah. >> reporter: we find a way across glass and splinters of wood beams. watch the nails, though. be careful. but again we can't get through. he's so close but so far, and the closer we get, the more anxious paul gets. suddenly, out of the blue -- >> rachel, hey! how are you? how are you?
2:38 pm
how's david? have you seen david at all? >> reporter: it's his friend rachel shook, also a teacher. she's his neighbor, too. the three of us set off to find a way into the apartment, walking past the oddities, the stunning power of a tsunami brings, like a boat perched on top of a car. after twists and turns, we're finally there. rachel takes a moment to update the list she keeps on her front door. friends who have made it. then paul tries his key, and he's in. inside he tries to salvage medicine and food, but mostly it's a lost cause. back outside, while we're set up for an interview, paul borrows my satellite phone to call his parents. >> hi, mom. hi, dad. it's paul. just saying i'm alive and i'm safe right now in katsanuma. >> reporter: he leaves a message on voice mail.
2:39 pm
during the interview he discovers why they were answering the phone. >> reporter: ben finley has been in contact with an american family, peter and mary fales. they're desperately looking for their son. >> reporter: paul's mom mary and father peter already scheduled for an interview on "ac 360" to discuss their missing son are thrilled. >> i can hear you, dad. hi. >> how are you? we really miss you. >> i'm fine, dad. i'm alive. i'm okay. >> hi, sweetheart. you sound wonderful. >> hi, mom. i am. >> and you've still got my hat there. >> yes, i still do. i'll give it back to you as soon as i can. >> that was nice there could be a little bit of levity in that, dad recognizing his hat. let's get back to the issue of radiation. radiation from the nuclear crisis in japan is is raising a lot of fear, but radiation
2:40 pm
exposure in general is a natural and daily event, far more common than you would think. i'm going to explain this to you on the other side of the break. by looking at his keys. ♪ these here? they belong to men who got a silverado during chevy truck month. with a powertrain backed for 100,000 miles -- that's 40,000 more than f-150. qualified buyers get 0% apr financing for 72 months on all 2011 silverado half-ton models during chevy truck month. get your keys today. those of us who know grass doesn't turn green just because the calendar says to. and that a big difference can grow from a small budget. for those of us with grass on our sneakers... dirt on our jeans... and a lawn that's as healthy as our savings... the days are about to get a whole lot greener. ♪ more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot.
2:41 pm
we're lowering the cost of flexing our green thumbs. this mulch is just $4.97.
2:42 pm
.
2:43 pm
remarkable. the devastation. every day we do a breakdown of something big in the news. today we want to talk about radiation because that's what a lot of people are talking about, the fears of levels of radiation in japan because of the nuclear plant fires, the worries over possible meltdown. remember this, radiation itself shouldn't scare you necessarily. exposure occurs every day to all of us. cnn's carl azuz is here to explain. carl, radiation is a rarely normal phenomenon. >> right. for all of us. we're talking about it's in the air we breathe, the ground we walk on. a few different places i found it, ali, is through cosmic and uv rays. these come from space, cosmic rays, uv from the sun. the earth's atmosphere protects us from these, does a great job. nothing to worry about this. elements in the air, radon in the air, different buildings have different levels of ra
2:44 pm
done. we're talking about carbon 14, uranium, which is used in much, much higher concentrations to power the nuclear plants. one unit of measurement when we talk about radiation is the miliseivert. on average per year, americans get 3m illisieverts per year. for one thing, when you get on a plane, you have less atmosphere above you protecting you from radiation on space. the plane, the levels you're exposed to are a bit higher than normal. we're looking at about three days worth in a five-hour coast to coast flight. >> wow. i fly a lot during the week. what else? >> it goes up for chest x-rays, if you've gotten one recently. they give you about ten bays worth. you get three months' worth if
2:45 pm
you get a mammogram, that's one whether it increases. for a chest ct scan, you get three years' worth. >> so this whole business about x-rays and cts, they're not kidding when they say there's a lot of radiation. >> more than what you naturally get, months and years' worth, they're compared with what you normally get walking around. but i want to underscore they're not considered dangerous levels. we're able to sustain that. it is increased but not to the point where -- unless you've had a lot of ct scans or x-rays in a short amount of time, shouldn't be concerned. >> let's talk about things that we can remember in terms of radiation damage. think about chernobyl. >> yeah. that's a worst-case scenario. we had mention it's three millie sieve erts a year. when you look at chernobyl, workers there were exposed, we're talking about 124 workers, exposed to levels between 800 and 16,000 millisieverts. >> so 3 is normal in a year? >> 3 is normal in a year.
2:46 pm
800 to 16,000 in days. 28 of those workers died within three months. >> that's a meltdown. that's the difference between some steam with radiation escaping from a nuclear plant and a meltdown. >> that's exactly right. one thing i do want to underscore is even where we've seen radiation spike with some of these explosions at the nuclear plants in japan, the levels we're talking about are still far below that 800 to 16,000 level you hear about at chernob chernobyl. >> right. a number of people thought there was a nuclear explosion, which is different than an explosion at a nuclear plant. >> exactly right. >> that's an important piece of information to know. that shouldn't suggest that you shouldn't be concerned about safety in nuclear power generation, but good to put it in perspective for us. carl, thanks very much. >> thank you, ali. we're getting a lot of new information with what's going on with the nuclear reactors in
2:47 pm
fukushi fukushima. dr. sanjay gupta joins us next with a look at the health effects of possible radiation exposure in japan. stay with us. [ male announcer ] opportunity
2:48 pm
is a powerful force. set it in motion... and it goes out into the world like fuel for the economy. one opportunity leading to another... and another. we all have a hand in it. because opportunity can start anywhere, and go everywhere. let's keep it moving. ♪
2:49 pm
2:50 pm
as we've been reporting, fears of raid rooactive exposure grip japan. a fire broke out at the number four reactor building at this plant we've been following, the fukushima nuclear plant. it was extinguished and an explosion occurred at the number two reactor. here's cnn's chief medical correspondent dr. sanjay gupta. >> reporter: we're getting more information about what's happening at the nuclear reactors and a lot of information that's pertinent to the potential health effects as well. this morning we heard from the officials saying that there was enough radiation that had been released that it could have an
2:51 pm
impact on human health. they also said that they expect these levels of radiation, these venting of radiation particles into the atmosphere would be continuing for some time. how to piece this all together, how to give it context, involves give looking at what the radiation is and how high the doses are. 400 millisieverts, keep in mind this is one of the highest readings that was found today near one of the reactors. typically just walking around, living in most countries in the world, you're going to get a certain amount of background radiation, a few millisieverts a year. if you get a chest x-ray, a few more millisieverts, a c.a.t. scan, a couple hundred. here we're talking about 400 millisieverts that was actually within the plant. adds it starts to move outside the gates, some of that will decay, some disperse and people 20 to 30 kilometers away will as a result get a pretty low dose
2:52 pm
of radiation. but we did hear that that release had occurred. that was one of the very highest readings that we've heard from these nuclear mrapts. we also heard 175 miles away on the "uss george washington" they started to dedekt above-normal levels of radiation. still low but above normal. they felt it came from the fukushima plant, so you're starting to see distribution of the radiation levels and of course the release. when you think about protection -- this is where a lot of the focus is right now -- you think about three things. time, distance and shielding. time, you want to reduce your time of exposure. distance, you want to get as far away from the exposure as possible, which is why you have the evacuation areas. then shielding, staying inside your home, for example, can provide a certain amount of shielding. there are also things like this. this is something you can carry around. it sort of gives you an idea of the cumulative radiation that you're receiving and also will alarm if there's a sudden sort
2:53 pm
of spike in the radiation around you. so some people will carry things like this. as things stand now, 400 millisieverts, not a particularly high number, should not have an impact either in the short term or long term on human health. but there's a lot of waiting to be seen here, making sure those radiation levels don't get high again and making sure the surveillance can continue to be done. we'll stay on top of the story, see what's happening at the reactors. back to you. >> that's sanjay in japan. sometimes journalists are not impartial observers. we're people, too, with families. sometimes the big stories hit home. a case in point is our own sandra endo, a reporter with cnn news source. she joins me now from washington. her own family is in northeast japan. sandra, tell us your story. we keep talking about this fukushima nuclear reactor. your family is in fukushima. >> that's right, ali. that's my father's hometown, a town i visited growing up, up
2:54 pm
until last year visiting my grandmoth grandmother. for days we've been trying to get ahold of them. we were just hanging on to one obscure text message we got that friday when the quake struck saying that everyone was accounted for. but obviously all the concerns were still there. we hadn't heard her voice. there she is on the left with my late grandfather. so just hearing her voice for the first time, telling her story about what happened, obviously was a big relief for all of us. my father and my brother and mother on the west coast, living in los angeles, all listening to her story of survival. and she says the conditions there, ali, are terrible, not only do they have to live through the initial quake but now it's just aftershock after after shock. luckily for them, their home is pretty structurally sound. a wall did collapse, but my cousins are there, my aunt also. they've been patching it up to make sure they're bracing themselves for the radiation
2:55 pm
that's been seeping out. also the cold weather. it's starting to snow there. we want to just hunker down inside and make sure they're safe. again, broken dishes she was saying, the tv toppled over, going outside of their house for the first time, seeing the devastation. their neighborhood just demolished. some of the homes around them just leveled. >> and your grandmother had seen -- >> and also some fatalities. >> right. your grandmother saw bodies in the neighborhood. >> right. when they went outside initially after the quake, my cousin who works in the fukushima pref prefectu prefecture, they witnessed some bodies. it's a tight-knit community. as luck would have it, they installed a new water pumen on their property so they've been able to get water. they've been an oasis for that community. people coming by trying to get water. they've been bringing by what food they could find. right now it's a big scramble. they did tell us that the power just came back on. the gas is on now.
2:56 pm
but, of course, with all the evacuees from the fukushima daiichi nuclear power plant including some of my extended relatives who had to evacuate that area, they're all fleeing into fukushima city itself. gas is very short. there's rations of everything. so supply and demand is not equalling out here. they're just hunkering down. they can't go anywhere and they're very worried about the radiation levels. if they do have to evacuate, they don't know where to go and obviously roads are treacherous as well. so we're just hoping and waiting to hear, but in her spirit she says she's celebrating life, ali and she says she'll have half a glass of saka before she goes to sleep. >> very good. we continue to pray for her. thanks for letting us know. as sanjay said, hopefully the radiation levels are going down, if they stay inside as much as they can, maybe they'll be protected from it. sandra, good to hear you found your grandmother and she's well. we'll, of course, continue to bring you stories of people who we find and some of these
2:57 pm
success stories because there's so much out there that isn't happy. it's heartbreaking. just when nuclear energy seemed to be making a comeback in the united states, the nuclear crisis in japan hits. will it and should it put the brakes on new u.s. nuclear energy? i'll talk about it in my "xyz," next. hot waffles... the smell of warm maple syrup. honeysuckle and rosemary. the smell of shaving cream. whatever scents fill your household,
2:58 pm
purina tidy cats scoop helps neutralize odors in multiple cat homes... giving you just what you need to keep your house smelling like it should. purina tidy cats scoop. keep your home smelling like home. and i was a pack-a-day smoker for 25 years. i do remember sitting down with my boys, and i'm like, "oh, promise mommy you'll never ever pick up a cigarette." i had to quit. ♪ my doctor gave me a prescription for chantix, a medication i could take and still smoke, while it built up in my system. [ male announcer ] chantix is a non-nicotine pill proven to help people quit smoking. it reduces the urge to smoke. some people had changes in behavior, thinking or mood, hostility, agitation, depressed mood and suicidal thoughts or actions while taking or after stopping chantix. if you notice any of these symptoms or behaviors, stop taking chantix and call your doctor right away. tell your doctor about any history of depression or other mental health problems, which could get worse while taking chantix.
2:59 pm
if you develop serious allergic or skin reactions, stop taking chantix and see your doctor right away as some of these can be life-threatening. don't take chantix if you've had a serious allergic or skin reaction to it. dosing may be different if you have kidney problems. until you know how chantix affects you, use caution when driving or operating machinery. common side effects include nausea, trouble sleeping and unusual dreams. ♪ my benjamin, he helped me with the countdown. "ben, how many days has it been?" "5 days, mom. 10 days, mom." i think after 30 days he got tired of counting. [ male announcer ] ask your doctor about chantix. and now through march 31st, get a limited-time money saving offer and see terms and conditions at chantix.com. time now for my "xyz." today i asked on facebook and twitter et

119 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on